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Reader MarkPA has an idea:

I propose that state groups petition their legislatures to call for an Article V convention to draft a Right-to-Carry Amendment to the US Constitution. To illustrate, I offer a tentative draft text to be debated and refined by the convention: “The right to keep and bear arms shall not be denied for want of need.” . . .

The target of such an amendment is – primarily – to override justifiable-need statutes at the State level. It’s a very modest proposal, so much so as to puzzle those of us who ask, “What part of shall not be infringed don’t you understand?”  My answer: We secure rights by amendments when 3/4 of the States agree that such a right is worthy of respect; and, while some State(s) deny that right. Such is the state of the right-to-carry today. The District of Columbia, New York City, New Jersey and Maryland all deny right-to-carry while other states have more-or-less restrictive may-issue laws or policies.

My reasoning for pursuing a Right-to-Carry Amendment via an Article V convention is three-fold:

1. To inspire the Supreme Court to recognize a right to carry judicially; or,
2. To inspire Congress to preempt an Article V convention by proposing such an amendment legislatively, or passing a national reciprocity bill legislatively;
3. Failing either 1 or 2, to, eventually, secure such a right by Constitutional amendment

SCOTUS could grant cert to a carry case and give relief sooner than by operation of amendment. I suspect that they would prefer to exercise their own powers rather than allow the states to supersede them. If so, then beginning a drive to an Article V convention may bring relief sooner than waiting for SCOTUS to take an interest in a case.

Also, remember that SCOTUS’s interpretation is tenuous; relief might be limited, eroded or even entirely reversed by a subsequent ruling. A favorable ruling from SCOTUS would be much more secure if superseded by an Amendment.  Moreover, SCOTUS might grant cert and rule against a right to carry; or, it might confirm some part of such a right while denying another part. An Article V convention drive should cast a sobering cloud over any creativity in a SCOTUS ruling. If SCOTUS short-changes the right a convention might draft language to exceed SCOTUS’s decision.

I suspect that Congress would prefer to exercise it’s own powers rather than allow the states to supersede them. If so, then such a drive would likely push national reciprocity over a majority in both chambers and possibly even a super-majority to over-ride a veto. Congress may also prefer to draft its own amendment rather than risk opening the Article V door for the first time in history.  Whether proposed by Congress or an Article V convention, an amendment would secure such a right over the fickleness of Congress.  If Congress short-changes the right a convention might draft language to exceed Congress’s initiative.

The mood of the State legislatures is – now – precisely where we want it. Article V requires 2/3 of the states to call for a convention and 3/4 to ratify an amendment (2/3 * 50 = 34; 3/4 * 50 = 38).  We have shall-issue statues, or de-facto right-to-carry in more than these numbers of states.  We should reach the lower threshold – compelling an Article V convention in just a few years.

The mood of people in the free states is one of agitation, not complacency. Those who have recently successfully petitioned their legislatures for redress remain inclined to secure these rights against backsliding. The balance of power in each legislature changes periodically with emigration from the slave states to free states.  Veterans of recent hard-fought struggles remember their scars and remain motivated to resume the struggle. Where the struggle was fought and won long ago, a lesser struggle should suffice to secure a favorable action from those legislatures.

I admit that I do not know how a narrowly-purposed convention would interact with the existing drive for a broadly-purposed convention. My proposal would certainly interact; and, if it gained any traction at all, we should certainly collaborate with those driving for a broader convention. It might be that a narrowly-purposed convention would serve as a stalking-horse paving the way for a subsequent convention with a broad mandate. It’s equally possible that any narrowly-purposed drive would interfere with the drive for a larger mandate.

The devil is in the details of the precise wording. I deliberately began as narrowly as I could. The scope of the right defined by an amendment can be broadened in two ways: first, by the deliberative (legislative) history of the body drafting the language and the language itself. Keeping the language as narrow as possible augers for a higher probability of achieving concurrence. While debates are not controlling, they can cast a powerful light over judicial interpretations, i.e., they can provide some additional protection.

Of additional possible issues, those that occur to me are as follows:

Right to keep and without need vs. merely a right-to-carry. I don’t think the right to keep without need is in much jeopardy today. Nevertheless, it could come into jeopardy again. I don’t see a reason to exclude the words “keep and” from the text, so I’m inclined to expand beyond strictly a right-to-carry.

I considered including the 2A reference to “the People,” however, it seemed unnecessary. The “right” is that of “the People” to “. . . Arms”.  I also considered augmenting this text so as to explicitly quash the residual mis-impression in in the popular mind that the 2A secures a right only to the organized militia (or mustered unorganized militia.)  This latter is a worth-while goal.  One approach would be to try to define the class who holds the right; e.g., “. . . of citizens and green-card holders aged 18 . . . ”  Yet, such language would introduce complexity that would have to be debated and this is precisely what must be avoided.  The best that occurs to me is to propose “. . . of the People, or any one of them, . . . ”   Such language would only serve to express the right as individual (not merely collective) and this is already determined by Heller; i.e., it would merely codify an existing SCOTUS interpretation.

It is said that ‘No one NEEDS more than 10 rounds to kill a deer.” My tentative text would seem to illuminate a response to assertion. Should the language be expanded to “Arms and Magazines”?  Once we start down this path, we face the same “enumerated rights” issue debated by the Federalists and Anti-Federalists.  Must we speak to barrel caliber and length?  To the mechanics of the action (bolt, lever, semi-automatic, burst, etc.)?

To speak of gun-free zones would be useful but utterly destructive of achieving concurrence in legislatures.

Courts now speak of “levels” of review. Missouri just amended its constitution to strengthen the RKBA explicitly mandating “strict scrutiny”.  Perhaps such a phrase should be added to the text.

I considered including language such as  to explain need “beyond concern for self-defense”. Some such language would secure – explicitly – the common law right of self-defense and tend to secure the basis for ‘castle doctrine’ and ‘stand your ground’ laws. Gun controllers might attempt to concede to a Constitutional right to keep and carry for hunting and recreation, yet strive to bar the use of arms for self-defense by tightening the rules of engagement to onerous levels.  The UK’s parliament has undermined the limited privilege of of arms keeping by stripping their citizens of any meaningful right of self-defense. Perhaps some such language should be added.

I anticipate a three to five year campaign, perhaps longer. We must ask whether we have exhausted our courage for such a fight. Before we begin we must take the pulse of each state’s legislature. To illustrate, we honor the Granite State with the phrase “Vermont Carry” and count them first among the the Constitutional carry states. Yet Vermont’s is merely a phenomena of benign neglect. Its two Senators are rated A by the Brady Campaign and F by the NRA. Would Vermont’s legislature be quick to resolve a Right-to-Carry convention? My proposal requires our brothers and sisters in arms in 40 states to gird their sneakers, cast ball and roll cartridges for yet another fight some five to 20 years after they last fought for their victorious state legislation. Are they up-to-it?

The fundamental question I offer the People of the Gun is this: Is the time now ripe for an Article V convention to secure the right to carry? Is such an amendment, on balance, worth the effort? If so, will an amendment be easier to secure today than it was 10 years ago, and easier to secure today than it might be 10 years in the future? Would such a debate capture the public imagination today (what with the publicity guaranteed by the generosity of Michael Bloomberg, his media empire and tap-root network of volunteers)?

92 Responses to It’s Time for a Right to Carry Amendment

    • +1 We might officially be Shall Carry, but only because the majority Democrats were forced to comply by the courts. Don’t think a single one would vote for an amendment, unless it was “no guns for regular people” (LE and politicians excluded, of course.)

      • While I agree the concept would not be backed by Illinois, the premise that the Democrats where forced into shall issue is misleading. Between pro-gun Republicans and pro-gun Democrats, from southern Illinois, there was a majority wanting to vote for shall carry, but Speaker Madigan would not allow shall issue come for a vote, and if it did, there were not enough vote to override a veto from the progressive filth that always inhabits the governor’s mansion. The federal court’s override of the state’s gun law was the push needed. The progressives didn’t have the votes to pass a may carry law and couldn’t risk a constitutional carry situation, so a compromise that everyone hated was negotiated, voted on, passed, and eventually became law.

    • States like IL, NJ, NY, CA, MA, RI, MD, and ME will push a competing amendment to repeal the 2nd the way the 21st repealed the 18th.

  1. Do I get to own bazookas and nuclear bombs on rockets ?

    While the Article V Mark Levin drive is interesting , it is as likely as my first sentence happening.

  2. Advice: keep it as damn simple as you possibly can. The firearm owners protection act (FOPA) was originally supposed to protect the second amendment, but in the house the clause banning automatics was shoved in.
    Keep the writing less than a paragraph. Word it very carefully, get the advice of lawyers to identify and eliminate loopholes before it is proposed. Don’t give anyone in congress the opportunity and necessity to make changes, because you can bet they will be for the worse.

    • Be careful what you wish for. By the time the amendment gets to the end of the tunnel it will have nothing to do with arms and will have gun owners wearing a rubber boot on their head. Such is the deliberative process.

  3. I think we have a better opportunity to abolish existing SBR/SBS laws than something along these lines. With Sig’s arm brace, and all of the pistol variants of rifles, it’s only a matter of time before a better idea comes along. SBR/SBS laws are now void and pointless as far as the capability goes. I think this should be a better priority and objective.

      • I suppose if we overload with massive changes they can pick and choose what to pass? Not sure. I guess I was just thinking if it was my rodeo I would pursue that before anything else.

      • Hey why don’t we just develop a constitutional amendment declaring that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed?
        Oh, wait….

        • This. We already have a constitutional amendment that restricts government from infringing on our right to keep and bear arms. Another amendment to make such infringements “more illegaler” is not going to suddenly make governments respect that right.

          But we do need some kind of 2nd amendment restoration act that nullifies all gun control laws everywhere in the U.S.

        • Exactly. There is no real need for a modification to the 2nd Amendment, and to do so would undermine our long-held position that it is an individual right of the people “to keep and BEAR arms” that is guaranteed in that Amendment.

  4. “The mood of people in the free states is one of agitation, not complacency. Those who have recently successfully petitioned their legislatures for redress remain inclined to secure these rights against backsliding”

    This is a good point. Could it be done? Someone do the political calculus. Could we get 2/3rds?

    Might put our friends and enemies squarely on the map. Like a show of hands, or when the NRA counts a vote.

  5. This all sounds good and all, but what about the tenth amendment? While I do realize that an amendment to the constitution would under rational thought would negate this, I can see the supreme court overturning an amendment based on the tenth. Also opening the door to an article 5 could backfire really badly for us. I am just playing devil’s advocate here. Not that I necessarily agree with everything I wrote.

      • No, it doesn’t work that way. The wording in the 21st directly repeals the 18th.

        Still, the tenth is not problematic. The second actually enumerates a right of ALL the people, not all the people except Americans in California, or New York. Shame on Americans for buying that line of crap. Does the 3rd amendment get to be ignored by states that feel it shouldn’t apply to them, or any other amendment?

        • Because each consecutive amendment amends the constitution as a whole, an amendment can make direct changes to a previous one. Obviously congress has to vote for it with a large majority, so it hasn’t caused too many problems. In this case, a new amendment could do all of the required steps to protect the second amendment. It could reinforce that the right of the people to keep and bear arms is absolute, while also applying the same ideas to concealed carry.

        • No, it does not work that way, Anything not specifically over-ridden, i.e. specifically modified or repealed by another amendment, still has force of law. The 21st is a good example of something else though, in that it also enacts the ability for states to control alcohol in regard to their own state, something the 2A does not enable. The states do not have power to enact laws infringing the right of the people regarding arms. The tenth amendment does not give states power to mitigate an enumerated right of the people.
          We are talking about the Constitution here, not some local ordinance.

    • The Supreme Court cannot overturn an Amendment (i.e. the Constitution). In fact an Amendment is a check on the Supreme Court, in a way…

        • Even that “claim” is unconstitutional. But so long as we accept it, they get away with it.

        • Something to keep in mind: The Supremes have the power to define it only as long as the people allow them to have it. Nationwide disregard of a decision voids the decision as long as more people disregard it than there are jail cells to hold them and Federal agents/police to arrest them.

          That is our trump card.

        • I agree with both of your statements. IMHO, the error of Marbury v. Madison must be corrected by the People. Otherwise, nothing in the Constitution is safe from redefinition.

  6. Is the time now ripe for an Article V convention to secure the right to carry? Yes
    Is such an amendment, on balance, worth the effort? Yes
    If so, will an amendment be easier to secure today than it was 10 years ago Yes,
    and easier to secure today than it might be 10 years in the future? Yes
    Would such a debate capture the public imagination today (what with the publicity guaranteed by the generosity of Michael Bloomberg, his media empire and tap-root network of volunteers)? Yes

    • By “keep” I’m assuming you mean keep properly stored at a police station. By “bear” I’m assuming you mean use only at a shooting club under proper supervision. By “arms” I’m assuming you mean muskets and swords.
      /sarc

      • And clearly you cannot “keep and bear” arms anywhere but at the police station’s shooting range, which is closed to the public.

  7. This is a pretty exciting idea! And I agree with keeping the wording simple. I’m not sure what the exact wording would be, but the general gist would be something along the lines of:

    “A well armed populace is necessary to keep the country free from tyranny, so the right of the people to own and carry arms is absolute.”

    Of course, we’d want to write it more eloquently so it sounds all fancy, something like:

    A well-regulated militia, being necessary…oh, wait…

  8. The problem with the Constitution is that if the majority of the politicians in the country don’t respect it, it isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. What do you think the word ‘bear’ means? You have the right to carry a weapon in the privacy of your own home? The second amendment couldn’t be more clear, the right to carry ‘shall not be infringed’. If you want to change the law you have to change the culture. The civil rights movement didn’t succeed because Martin Luther King convinced the politicians to dictate to Americans what behavior was and wasn’t acceptable. The civil rights movement succeeded because Jackie Robinson and Chuck Berry made white people think of blacks as not so different from themselves. The culture changed and the politicians followed. If you want to change the law, recruit people into firearm ownership. When the politicians in New Jersey start to realize that half the country wouldn’t step foot in their state because of their Stalinist laws on firearms they will respond.

    • “The problem with the Constitution is that if the majority of the politicians in the country don’t respect it, it isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. … The second amendment couldn’t be more clear, the right to carry ‘shall not be infringed’.”

      I came to the same conclusion in my comment below.

    • Exactly. The 2A is a 50 state right to carry amendment, the people just let it get ignored. What use is more of the same? Either make the gov comply with what is written, as written, no BS, or stop trying to beat them at their own game. They have more experience.

  9. A constitutional convention that would allow the US Constitution to be rewritten is my greatest nightmare. Does anyone think that the people that would be chosen for the convention would write one that didn’t impair our freedom?

    • +1

      Too many statists these days. The risk is far too high. Even if something iron clad did get written and passed, government has already shown itself quite willing to ignore the Constitution to serve its own ends.

      IMHO, massive civil disobedience that didn’t let up until the goal was accomplished would be the quickest and surest route to the destination. Putting all of the Article V resources towards organizing and carrying out perpetual mass civil disobedience would be a better use of those resources. Then again, it takes a people that want to be free and I’m not convinced that the American people still desire freedom and all of the risks/responsibilities that entails.

      • “Putting all of the Article V resources towards organizing and carrying out perpetual mass civil disobedience would be a better use of those resources.”

        Having had a chance to sleep on this overnight, I am even more convinced that an Amendment is a bad idea. We need to force government to observe the Second Amendment which is already active. And I believe John in Ohio’s statement above is the best way to get there.

    • I wholeheartedly agree. What would keep our elected representatives from keeping it pure, and not adding in other restrictive things. Why not, for instance also add an amendment solidifying the right to an abortion/ or forbidding you to have one? what about all the other pet issues that people hold near and dear in their hearts…you know, the ones that are usually based in making the OTHER guy do/not do something that doesn’t affect ME?

  10. You know, something just occurred to me. Mark’s staring proposal reads,
    “The right to keep and bear arms shall not be denied for want of need.”

    This wording implies that there are some acceptable conditions to deny our inalienable right to keep and bear arms. That is bad. Unfortunately, I have no suggestions for alternative wording.

    The more I think about this, the more conflicted I become. When it comes down to it, there really is nothing wrong and there are no deficiencies with the wording of the Second Amendment. The real problem is that legislatures and courts violate it. And they violate it because We the People have failed to truly hold them accountable. What stops the same legislatures and courts from violating this new Amendment?

    The Second Amendment is an important safeguard against tyranny at the hands of criminals, our own government, and foreign invaders. That means governments MUST NOT EVER have authority to define any restrictions on the ownership and possession of firearms and ammunition. Restrictions only serve to weaken the good people of our nation and put us at a disadvantage if criminals, our government, or foreign invaders ever attack. How is that any benefit to the good people of our nation?

    • I had a similar thought. The phrase “for want of need” is understood today,
      but as time passes, and the English language changes, or as some would say, is changed,
      will it still be understood ?
      Will those who consider the passage ” He want that cake, cake, cake, cake” to be a
      meaningful statement on the human condition understand it even today ?
      I think it should be kept plain and simple. At one time “well regulated”
      was well understood, and look at the problems we have with it today.

      • Even if the 2A only read, The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, the Court would still redefine what “the people”, “arms”, “keep”, “bear”, and “infringe” mean. No, there are two problems and they don’t have to do with the wording of the Second Amendment. The first problem is a widespread misunderstanding of and contempt for the Constitution. The second problem is the usurped power of Judicial Review by the Supreme Court. If those two issues aren’t corrected then I don’t see hope for any constitutional amendments to fix the problem.

        • Yes, yes, yes. The Constitution was not written so as to need a law degree to understand it. It was written so the people could understand it. Legal manipulations of simple meanings are contrary to the letter and spirit of the document.

  11. If states really want to push the issue, they should file amicus briefs for the court to take up a “bear” case. A brief signed by 35 states would het noticed.

  12. By doing this, we are giving in to the other side. Why did Justice Stevens want to revamp the 2nd amendment if it didn’t protect the very rights we on the pro-gun side say it does? Because he knows it means what it says, Shall Not Be Infringed.
    Proposing a new amendment would be throwing in the towel on the 2nd. From a public relations perspective it would be a disaster for us, and Shannon Watts would have an absolute field day with it in the press.
    I could see it now… The Pro-gun Community Finally Admits That They Were Wrong About the Second Amendment…interview with the head of MDA at eleven, if we can manage to get her to answer a question between shrieks of joy and merriment.

    • hmm…sounds like lawyer speak…and likely correct. I just spent 10 minutes writing up an amendment and now I don’t want to post it. Oh to have those minutes back.

    • Exactly.
      We would put ourselves in the same ludicrous position that Justice (now retired, TGA) Stevens put himself in when he suggested adding the 5 words “while serving in the militia” to the 2nd Amendment to “clarify” its meaning.
      There is no need for defenders of gun rights to “gild the lily’ with a similar, but opposite, “clarification”.

  13. Isn’t there a convention of states petition going around for a more innocuous and more universally palatable cause these days?

    I would love to see this proposal realized, but (and correct me, if I’m wrong) we have not gotten 34 states to agree to convene to scale back federal government.

    I don’t want to piss on anyone’s parade, and I am not trolling, but given the above reality, how do we get 34 states to support this?

  14. Our Government is so inept that it has a hard time deciding to fund itself. And have had to resort to foreign countries manufacturing zeros to add to the climbing debt that can never be repaid, repeat Never be repaid. How can we expect anything to get done?

  15. Yes, but KISS. This was already way… TL;DR.

    Read Conservative Insurgents, and Rise of the Anti-Media, Army of Davids. Its working, and TTAG is an example of how fast in can grow.

    Enable grass-roots in a thousand places, with education, a simple message of why, how to, and that its working- I like the map that shows CHL adoption in states over time.

    Target every group that Dems depend upon, to peel off individual voters- what the Left is doing right now is scaring them – and the Left cant help itself, with the FAIL running out of control, foreign policy, taxes, economy, Obamacare, Faux War on Women- everyone is waking up: Women, Minorities, Gays, Millenials, all who have been ripped off by the false promises of Hope and Change.

    Just emphasize what we all have in common – Individual Freedom from State Tyranny. Self Defense is so basic, that its the canary in the coal mine, and enabler of the individual…KISS. Just turn the news back on them- the single black mom in NJ example, etc.

    Dont waste time on differences, focus on what we all can agree on. Be nimble, adapt – politics is local.

    Self Responsibility without lectures, role models, positive imagery, American exceptionalism, from the citizens UP, not the FedGov down.

    Leverage resources and spread it horizontally- see NRA Ads, great stuff right now.
    http://home.nra.org/home/video/service/list/good-guys-tv

  16. To slow to edit- I meant BE the Positive role model, be nimble, adapt- spread the meme.
    H/t and cross posted back to American Digest, for the NRA video there.
    http://americandigest.org/

    H/t to Instapundit for the heads up on the new book – a great short read-
    “Conservative Insurgency,” for inspiration on how-to’s,
    http://www.amazon.com/Conservative-Insurgency-Kurt-Schlichter/dp/1618689770

    and Professor Reynolds own “Army of Davids”, as a proof on what has already worked.

  17. Um no. You’re living in a dream world buddy. Snap out of it.
    A few more scribbles on a piece of parchment is not going to make these criminals respect your rights period…..
    I think that should be clear to even the dullest among us.
    Another thing that should be abundantly clear is that our rights don’t come from a constitution or the amendments attached thereto. Nor do they come from a carry permit bestowed upon us by the state. We have rights because we live and breathe.
    This is not a free country and never will be untill the people stand up on their hind legs and say no more. If you think you’re free then you have already lost.
    If you want Hope and Change(TM) then we’ll have to dismiss congress, El Presidente, the SCROTUMS, and pretty much every other parasite in the state and federal guberment.
    Good luck with that voting thingy.

  18. While you are at it, see if you can add a few sentences about the rights of little kids to carry fully automatic weapons. Since you feel no need to stop at where the founding fathers intended, then why stop at common sense, either.

    • You know what the FF intended? Do you channel them regularly? Dave’s not here….he is on conference call with the founding fathers.

    • Dave with just two sentences, you encapsulate the problem we have today. Not with the Second Amendment, the constitution or what our Founders wanted for us as a country.

      You and what you stand for is what our Founders wrote the constitution and in particular the Second Amendment to protect against.

  19. This is really a horrible and tragic post. It implies that this right is already NOT in the constitution and that the gun rights community is finally conceding to that. The uninfringed bearing of arms is already in the constitution!!!!!! This thought being posted online is bad enough.

  20. Keep and bear covers this. And they ignore it.
    No reason on earth why they won’t just ignore this right to carry amendment either.
    The state is pro at defacto banning even what is explicitly permitted.

  21. With each additional word, meaning becomes more narrowly defined. If anything, I believe we would have been better off today, if the 2nd stated nothing more than “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” An Article V convention can be a dangerous thing, with the risk being proportional to the effort required. That effort might be more usefully applied in educating the people as to the meaning and importance of the word “infringed”.

  22. The whole problem with a Constitutional Convention is that it can not be limited as to what it might choose to do beyond your proposed Amendment. There are huge numbers of people in the Deep Blue parts of various states, how do you think Hank “Guam” Johnson gets elected and Cynthia McKinney was a real piece of work, and this from the very Red state of Georgia. Do you really want folks with that level of intellect messing with the Constitution?

    Nope, not a great Idea; we are gonna have to keep slogging away at undoing the harm the antis do to this country little bit at a time.

  23. In today’s political situation amending the Constitution could be a dangerous business. Trying somehow to “fix” or “enhance” the rights already clearly protected by the Second Amendment is not a good idea because the problem is that the Constitution is being widely ignored and violated at the Federal State and Local levels.

  24. While I appreciate the effort, I have to say I’ll side with those who say that the 2nd amendment is sufficient as written and should be respected along with the rest of the constitution by our elected and appointed officials. Also known as the “cold, dead hands” group.

  25. The problem with a constitutional convention is there is no limit to it’s scope. It could be convened for the purposes of “Right to Carry” but end up with the repeal of 2A.

    Edit: Or, what Rusty Chains already said.

  26. Yep, The Second Amendment is one of the clearest amendments and the only one that says this right “shall not be infringed”, end of story.

    How has that worked out for us? A Con Con would be a bad idea.

  27. Bad idea. To “bear arms” is carrying them.

    Lest anyone think this is an innovation — a recent publication of the contemporary German translation of the Bill of Rights, http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2486282 (for ratification debates in Pennsylvania and New York, mainly) renders “keep and bear arms” as “Waffen zu tragen” In that contemporary parallel translation in the link renders “keep and bear” simply as — “to carry arms.”
    More particularly, the German used, “Waffen zu tragen,” would cover the range English meanings of “weapons to wear, carry, or bear”

    Great name for a store: “Weapons to Wear.”

  28. This is a mistake. We already have the second amendment. A campaign to add another, clarifying amendment is tacit admission that what you’re asking for doesn’t already exist, naturally or described in the second amendment.
    The second amendment speaks of the right of the people to keep and bear arms. It goes in to say that right will not be infringed.
    “Arms” means (among other things) guns AND ammunition. So people have the right to have weapons. They have the right to ammunition. High capacity magazine bans are, by definition, unconstitutional. It is an infringement on our right to keep arms.
    But people also have the right to bear arms. This means the right to bring arms to bear on some threat. Restrictions on carry – concealed or open – are an infringement on this right as well.
    I’m all for continuing to move the culture toward stronger support of out natural rights. But I firmly believe that once you’ve got something, you stop asking for it, and you stop asking for affirmation of it. Doing so is a sign of weakness and uncertainty that, rather than more firmly establish our existing rights, will instead lead gun-control activists to question the stability of those rights.

    • I’m all for continuing to move the culture toward stronger support of out natural rights. But I firmly believe that once you’ve got something, you stop asking for it, and you stop asking for affirmation of it. Doing so is a sign of weakness and uncertainty that, rather than more firmly establish our existing rights, will instead lead gun-control activists to question the stability of those rights.

      Amen! Instead of reinventing the wheel, we need to encourage exercise already established.

  29. I’ll be honest, I’m not really for an Article V convention on a right to carry amendment. 2A should be enough as it is.

    I would like to have an article V on other proposals, like sunset provisions on every law and department, maybe even term limits.

    As for the argument that the Pro-regressives will sneak in their amendments, I would argue that they are doing it through other means anyways. If they are doing it through Judicial, Legislature and Executive means, there really is little point in worrying about article V means.

  30. I would prefer “Constitutional carry” to be in effect in the entire country. But if a state wishes to require a permit process, for the already guaranteed “right to keep and BEAR arms” then it should not only be a “shall issue” form, but should also not be any expense to the citizen who applies for the permit.
    I did not pay for the administrative costs when I registered to vote, and the Supreme Court has forbidden poll taxes as an unconstitutional interference with the voting rights of a citizen — “The power to tax is the power to destroy”.
    The same principle applies to the RKBA. If the people of a state wish a permit system, let them absorb the total expense of administering it out of general taxpayer revenue. That would include any mandatory training required by law.
    If the voters and taxpayers of the state consider such regulations as a permit system to be beneficial to “public safety”, let them pay for it.

    • There is nothing supporting a right of any state to limit a constitutionally protected right of the people. Ergo a “permit system” is unconstitutional.

      • I agree, but take a page from the opposition’s guide book, “One step at a time”:

        1) Eliminate the “shall issue” permit system
        2) Require that no tax or “fee” be charged for the exercise of 2nd Amendment rights, on the same basis that poll tax is an unconstitutional violation of voting rights
        3) Let the taxpayers vote in representatives who will rid them of the expense of a useless, complicated, bureaucratic permit system for “bearing arms”.

        • Plenty of groups also made great strides by just ignoring illegal laws. They sat at counters labeled for others only, they refused to sit in the back of the bus, etc….do you really think they could have just “one step at a time” made such things happen? Keep believing that, see how well it is working?

        • @ Paul G.

          Obviously, the gungrabbers will vary tactics at need, to do what they find most effective in any given set of circumstances. They are willing to proceed with their agenda “One step at a time”. It will lead to the eventual achievement of their goals.
          Do you really think the VPC will stop infringement if they can get a “first step” ban on civilian ownership of “assault weapons”?
          Why do you mention civil disobedience?

        • Okay Paul, have it your way. Ignoring illegal [unconstitutional] statutes is not disobeying those laws.
          That was your last mistake.

        • Any law that violates the constitution is null and void, it is not a law at all. Sorry if you are ignorant of simple truths.
          16 Am Jur 2d, Sec 177 late 2d, Sec 256:

          The general misconception is that any statute passed by legislators bearing the appearance of law constitutes the law of the land. The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and any statute, to be valid, must be In agreement. It is impossible for both the Constitution and a law violating it to be valid; one must prevail. This is succinctly stated as follows:

          The General rule is that an unconstitutional statute, though having the form and name of law is in reality no law, but is wholly void, and ineffective for any purpose; since unconstitutionality dates from the time of it’s enactment and not merely from the date of the decision so branding it. An unconstitutional law, in legal contemplation, is as inoperative as if it had never been passed. Such a statute leaves the question that it purports to settle just as it would be had the statute not been enacted.

          Since an unconstitutional law is void, the general principles follow that it imposes no duties, confers no rights, creates no office, bestows no power or authority on anyone, affords no protection, and justifies no acts performed under it…..

          A void act cannot be legally consistent with a valid one. An unconstitutional law cannot operate to supersede any existing valid law. Indeed, insofar as a statute runs counter to the fundamental law of the lend, it is superseded thereby.

          No one Is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it.
          http://www.constitution.org/uslaw/16amjur2nd.htm

          You seem to be often mistaken. Hopefully you are receptive to correction. It is not disobedient to ignore that which is not legitimate.

  31. Although I tend to be scared of a new ConCon, I do think there might be a way to phrase a proposed amendment without appearing to concede that the most stringent (i.e., the most correct) interpretation of the present second amendment is flawed. Here’s my shot at it.

    Amendment 28:

    Section 1: There being, from time to time, willful misinterpretation of the Second Amendment, the following clarifications apply.

    Subsection A: The phrase “keep and bear arms” shall be construed as meaning the ownership, possession, storage and carrying, in whatever manner deemed suitable by the individual, of any arm.

    SubSection B: The phrase “shall not be infringed” shall be construed as forbidding the federal and state governments, as well as any other goverment under their jurisdiction, from enacting any act, law, regulation or ordinance that could in the slightest interfere with or otherwise make more difficult the exercise of the right to keep and bear arms.

    Section 2: The right of the people, either as individuals or through their local and state governments or militia, to resist, forcibly if necessary. any violation of the second amendment within the United States, shall not be called into question.

    Section 3: All governmental bodies in the United States shall have one year from the date of ratification of this amendment to repeal all conflicting laws, acts, regulations and ordinances. Failure to do so shall result in the immediate removal of all individuals voting against repeal from office, and they shall be barred from holding any other elected or appointed political office for life.

    Section 4: Enforcement of any such laws described in Section 3 shall cease immediately on ratification, with violators subject to the same penalty as described therein, with an additional five year prison sentence.

    Section 5: There is no time limit for the ratification of this article.

  32. “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”

    It’s already there. Or do you think they wont try to subvert a new amendment?

  33. The opening declares it to be a natural right

    As it is the natural, absolute and fundamental right of the individual to keep and bear arms, Congress, any State, any political sub division with a State shall make no law no law:

    This paragraph recognizes the right of the individual to keep and bear arms and spells it out.

    — That in any way, abridges, restricts, infringes or denies the absolute right of the individual who is not lawfully incarcerated, who is of 18 years or older in age, to acquire lawfully, keep and carry either openly or concealed about their person, arms or components of arms and ammunition, in any all and all areas of the nation.

    This paragraph eliminates any possible permitting schemes and says permission to exercise that right cannot be required.

    — That requires any Individual who is not lawfully incarcerated, who is of 18 years or older in age to seek permission, permit or license, from any authority, to acquire lawfully, keep and carry either openly or concealed, arms or components of arms and ammunition in any all and all areas of the nation, for the defense of the individual, property and the defense of the state.

    This paragraph eliminates any registration schemes.

    — That requires arms or components of arms and ammunition, or record of any lawful sale or the possession thereof, to be registered or recorded with any authority.

    This paragraph prevents guns and ammunition from being taxed so that they prohibitively expensive.

    — That imposes any special or selective, tax or regulation on any individual, corporation or other entity engaged in the manufacturing, distribution and sale of arms or components of arms and ammunition.

    This paragraph prevents gun manufacturers from being sued by the misuse of their products by criminals.

    — That places liability on any individual, corporation or other entity engaged in the manufacturing, distribution and sale of arms or components of arms and ammunition for the misuse of arms or components of arms and ammunition, used by another individual in any act.

  34. In reading some of the suggestions for additional text related to the Second Amendment, I would warn that the more you try to specify, the more potential loopholes and opportunities to interpret around what you’ve specified you create. This is dangerous and fraught with “unintended consequences” because the more specific you get the more you discover later you “forgot” to think about.
    The simplicity of the Second Amendment is both its eloquence and strength. “….the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed;” may be subject to attempted interpretation, but you find time and again that arguments for various “interpretations” don’t hold-up to close scrutiny because the simplicity of the phrasing is so airtight.
    “It isn’t broke…and it doesn’t need ‘fixing’!” What needs to be fixed is a system of politicians, bureaucrats and Courts that pass and enforce Unconstitutional Laws using them on the American People in brazen violation of the Constitution and the founding principles of the Republic. A Con-Con won’t fix this.

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